A useful manual aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurs.

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

An introspective look at building a startup with long-range vision.

Entrepreneur Abouelnaga’s perspective on startups has the implicit message that if you do what you love as a career, you’ll not only become wealthy, but also “improve the world.” His latest book looks with fresh eyes at how an entrepreneur’s mindset can help or hinder a startup, and it examines the difference between passion, which initiates a goal, and purpose, which, for him, entails a sense of moral obligation. Abouelnaga, a former Forbes columnist, writes in a pleasant, no-nonsense style, taking readers through his comprehensive, easy-to-follow program built around six key, introspective questions. The answers are sure to help readers assess whether their vision is tenable and whether deeper examination,or a course change, is needed before jumping in. Early chapters focus on each question individually: “Why is this important?” “Why is this important to me?” “Why am I the right person to be doing this?” and so on. The author significantly delves into what he calls the overriding element: Does the venture have enough scope and significance to pass a “requiring help test”? In practice, this means that one must determine whether one’s idea will have a broad impact on society. Abouelnaga goes on to helpfully note that his own purpose in forming his organization, Practice Makes Perfect, was to help disadvantaged students. But he realized that in order to meet his big-picture goal—creating a more equitable society—he would need the support of other people. The book builds upon its own ideas, and it’s best read as a whole, but the chapters are so neatly focused and streamlined that each manages to stand well on its own. No matter what way one chooses to digest the information, it will certainly be of value to businesspeople at all levels of experience.

A useful manual aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-948080-69-9

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Indigo River Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A vigorous and highly readable plan for building the finances of a new business.

PROFIT FIRST FOR MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES

TRANSFORM YOUR MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE FROM A CASH-EATING MONSTER TO A MONEY-MAKING MACHINE

A program of cash-management techniques for aspiring entrepreneurs, aimed at a minority readership.

At the beginning of this business book, Mariga reflects on the birth of her daughter, Florence, and on the depressing prospect of returning to her corporate job and missing some of her baby’s early moments. She realized that she “wanted to show Florence…that I could, that she could, that anyone could be anything they wanted to be in this world.” To that end, she wanted to start her own business, and she “wanted to help entrepreneurs build successful businesses that provide opportunities for others.” In a sentiment reflected by others she’s interviewed, she says that she wanted to strengthen her family legacy, so she founded her own accounting firm. She paints a vivid picture of the hardscrabble early days of other minority business owners like herself, the child of an African American mother and a Chinese father who also had a family accounting business. She and others were “all hustling to acquire clients and build our businesses…and most of us had absolutely nothing to show for it.” She was inspired by Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First money management system, and the bulk of her book is devoted to an explanation of how to make this system work for minority business enterprises. (Michalowicz provides a foreword to the book.) One of the primary goals of Profit First is to build “a self-sustaining, debt-free company,” so a large part of Mariga’s work deals with the details of managing finances, building and abiding by budgets, and handling the swings of emotion that occur every step of the way. As sharply focused as these insights are, the author’s recollections of her own experiences are more rewarding, as when she tells readers of her brief time as a cut-rate accountant and learning that it was a mistake to try to compete on price. These stories, as well as financing specifics and clear encouragements (“Small changes and adjustments accumulate. Over time, they will lead you to your goal”), will make this book invaluable to entrepreneurs of all kinds.

A vigorous and highly readable plan for building the finances of a new business.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7357759-0-6

Page Count: 230

Publisher: The Avant-Garde Project, LLC

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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